Freshman Meaghan McKernan cannot imagine a day that isn’t full of things to do. Between school, track, homework and normal day-to-day activities, it is easy to say that she is busy. How does she and other students fit all that is expected of them into one day without getting overwhelmed? It’s simple, a routine.

Sticking to a routine is undoubtedly the most important concept to a balanced schedule. Students should create a day-to-day list of things to do and maintain a proactive mindset.

How To Create a Schedule

  1. Make a list of everything you want to do by the end of the day.

This may seem obvious, but it affects you more than you think. Goal setting in general can help with self-esteem. Setting small goals and achieving them throughout the day can release dopamine in your brain. This tells your brain that what you are doing can help you be the best version of yourself. 

2. State priorities.

Priorities are important. It separates the things you want to do from those you need to do. 

3. Start at the beginning of your day and get your priorities done first. 

Before you overwhelm yourself with what seems like a million things to do, start with one task and work your way through your list of priorities. Taking it step by step is what keeps the day and your mind stable.

4. Do assignments between other assignments in class. 

Try to use all the time you have during the school day. If you’re done with an assignment in class and have time, work on another so that you have less to do after school. Nobody likes to have a full day of assignments to do at the end of the day and have no time to relax.

5. After extracurriculars, go home and take a break if necessary. 

Taking a break can be important, so set aside some time to relax before getting back to work. Don’t burn yourself out before you get the chance to glow. Your best effort comes when you aren’t thinking about everything else you need to do. Taking a break can center yourself and make yourself realize that the tasks you have are just tiny things in a humongous world.

6. After your short break, head to a calm place with no distractions. Continue to work on any assignments you didn’t finish throughout the school day.

Distractions can seem tempting to the brain, so put yourself in a space where you can focus. Work on anything that you didn’t finish during the day. Being in a chaotic space can get your mind off of the subject at hand. Once you start rolling, you’ve got to keep going. Stay on a grind. Stay focused. 

7. After completing these assignments, take time for yourself and spend time with your family.

Relax, you’re done! Take this time to hang out with friends and family or enjoy some of your favorite hobbies. Your day isn’t just about school. Make the rest of the day about the things that matter to you most. There is no guarantee that everything or everyone will be there when you wake up the next day. Be a normal teenager and have fun while your childhood lasts. 

8. Do it all over again!

Consistency is key! Don’t break your streak. Once you stop you may tumble. Stay up and keep yourself on your toes. 


Student opinions on handling daily tasks

It definitely becomes an anxious moment for students when they have multiple assignments to complete after a tedious day at school and after-school activities, but many have found time management to be the key to success. 

“Always start any work you have early if there is any free time during school or at home,” McKernan said. “Try to get assignments done early so [if] day sports of activities run late it will be less stressful.”

Everyday activities can also have some stress-relieving properties. For example, hygiene routines can help you reflect on the day and focus on what needs to be done. 

“I would suggest taking a shower,” freshman Robby Diers said. “It helps me clear my mind.”

In addition, hobbies can be essential to an efficient routine. Doing the things you love to do gives you the motivation to do the things you have to do.

“I’ve found that playing video games is helpful,” Diers said. “It relieves stress.”

Nutrition is an important aspect of academic and especially physical priorities. Of course, three meals a day is required but snacks can also boost your energy in a rush. 

“My favorite snack is a Cliff Bar,” Diers said. “I enjoy any kind of protein bar after or before track” says McKernan.

Importance of physical activity that you can fit into your day

Along with McKernan’s normal sports workouts, she enjoys to go on runs in her free time to relieve stress and stay in shape. Doing little things like going for a walk or a family bike ride is not only physically helpful but mentally disengaging. This allows your brain to recover from everything going on behind the scenes. 

Nobody knows what’s going on in your personal life, and whether you choose to share it or not, little breaks to see nature and put some physical activity into your routine can help you rethink, reflect and react to the things happening all around you.

“I have a lot to do and may feel rushed,” McKernan said. “But I always make time to get it done and try to make sure I can get through my work throughout the day and stay focused.”